Last week’s economic data had better news than most observers had been expecting. It certainly was an up week for McDonald’s which reported a 5.1% rise in same store sales for May, indicating that consumers continue to be cautious in spending. Growth for the chain was greatest overseas (+7.6% in Europe and 6.4% in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa), but the 2.8% in U.S. growth is nothing to sneeze at.
Economic reports due out this week include the release of the April Wholesale Trade figures as well as weekly chain store and retail sales index numbers on June 9. The following day the Fed releases its compilation of anecdotal reports about business conditions nationwide, known as the “beige book,” it is published a few weeks before each policy making meeting. The winter release was mostly downbeat and observers are hoping for renewed optimism this time around.
All eyes will be on the May retail sales report scheduled for release on June 11. Although consumers remain cautious in spending, it’s expected that the numbers will show an uptick of about 0.5% for the month, which would be an encouraging sign after Aprils 0.4% decline.
There’s not much happening in Congress this week other than the Senate’s Joint Economic Committee’s hearings on June 9 to examine accountability and oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), with a focus on the strength of financial institutions.